Albert I


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Albert I,

c.1250–1308, Holy Roman Emperor (1298–1308), son of Rudolf IRudolf I
or Rudolf of Hapsburg
, 1218–91, German king (1273–91), first king of the Hapsburg dynasty. Rudolf's election as king ended the interregnum (1250–73), during which time there was no accepted German king or Holy Roman emperor.
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. Albert was invested with Austria and Styria in 1282 by his father, who also hoped to secure the succession as king of the Germans for Albert. However, on Rudolf's death (1291) the electorselectors,
in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, the princes who had the right to elect the German kings or, more exactly, the kings of the Romans (Holy Roman emperors).
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 rejected Albert's candidacy in order to check the growing power of the Hapsburgs and to prevent the crown from becoming hereditary within the Hapsburg dynasty. They chose Adolf of NassauAdolf of Nassau
, d. 1298, duke of Luxembourg, German king (1292–98). He owed his election to the ecclesiastical electors, who, fearing the growing power and ambition of the Hapsburgs, chose him rather than Albert of Austria (later King Albert I), son of Rudolf I of
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 as king. Albert later engineered Adolf's deposition and replaced him. As king, Albert attempted to strengthen Hapsburg claims for a hereditary dynasty by allying (1299) with Philip IV of France, by supporting the Rhine towns against the Rhenish imperial electors, and by unsuccessfully attempting (1300) to add Holland and Zeeland to the Hapsburg domains. These actions provoked a revolt (1300–1302) by the Rhenish electors, backed by Pope Boniface VIIIBoniface VIII,
1235–1303, pope (1294–1303), an Italian (b. Anagni) named Benedetto Caetani; successor of St. Celestine V.

As a cardinal he was independent of the factions in the papal court, and he opposed the election of Celestine.
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, which Albert suppressed. He later reached an agreement with Boniface, who recognized his title in 1303. Albert attempted to expand his dominion to the east by preventing Wenceslaus IIWenceslaus II,
1271–1305, king of Bohemia (1278–1305) and of Poland (1300–1305), son and successor of Ottocar II. From the death (1278) of his father until 1283 the regency was exercised by Otto, margrave of Brandenburg, appointed by the German king Rudolf I of
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 of Bohemia from acquiring Hungary, but his campaign was unsuccessful until Wenceslaus's death (1305). Albert's son Rudolf succeeded Wenceslaus III (1306). Albert was assassinated by a band of conspirators that included his nephew. Henry of Luxemburg (Henry VIIHenry VII,
c.1275–1313, Holy Roman emperor (1312–13) and German king (1308–13). A minor count of the house of Luxembourg, Henry was elected German king on the death of King Albert I after the electors had set aside the two main contenders, Albert's eldest son,
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) was elected to succeed him.

Albert I,

1875–1934, king of the Belgians (1909–34), nephew and successor of Leopold IILeopold II,
1835–1909, king of the Belgians (1865–1909), son and successor of Leopold I. His reign saw great industrial and colonial expansion. In 1876 he organized, with the help of H. M.
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. He married (1900) Elizabeth, a Bavarian princess. In World War I his heroic resistance (1914) to the German invasion of Belgium greatly helped the Allied cause. Albert spent the entire war at the head of his army, and in 1918 he led the Allied offensive that recovered the Belgian coast. The king and queen did much to improve social conditions in Belgium and in the Belgian Congo. Albert's democratic and affable ways won him great regard at home and abroad. He died in a rock-climbing accident and was succeeded by his son, Leopold IIILeopold III,
1901–83, king of the Belgians (1934–51), son and successor of Albert I. In 1936, Leopold announced a fundamental change in foreign policy; Belgium abandoned its military alliance with France in favor of a return to neutrality.
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. His daughter, Marie José, married the crown prince (later King Humbert IIHumbert II,
1904–83, last king of Italy (1946), son and successor of Victor Emmanuel III. On the abdication (May, 1946) of his father, who was tainted by his long acquiescence (1922–43) to Fascist rule, Humbert succeeded to the throne, pending a referendum on the
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) of Italy.

Bibliography

See biography by E. Cammaerts (1935).

Albert I

1. c. 1255--1308, king of Germany (1298--1308)
2. 1875--1934, king of the Belgians (1909--34)
3. called Albert the Bear. c. 1100--70. German military leader: first margrave of Brandenburg